Six Sex Scenes and a Murder Movie Review

You had me sold at "Scenes." Hyuk hyuk. OK, no, really -- the best thing this film has going for it is its sex scenes: Despite the nudity, they're not even that sexual; they're just charming in a ticklish way, with the perfect dose of humility. That probably doesn't make sense to you, but somehow first-time director Julie Rubio pulls that off. Unfortunately, she falls short on constructing the core of the movie -- the murder mystery. She gives us the meat, but the bones are extremely misaligned.

While introducing her film, Rubio admitted it was "complicated." Complicated it is indeed, in a convoluted, confusing sort of way that makes Scenes very difficult to follow and thus impossible to become immersed in. The story revolves around the voluptuous Regan Price (Kristin Minter) and her boyfriend Nick Hamilton (Richard Crenna Jr.). Hamilton had led a life of crime and was ready to opt out, only to be eventually shot to death outside a burlesque club.

The film launches with a detective interviewing several people about a murder. Then we see a flashback that illustrates the seemingly tumultuous relationship between Price and Hamilton. A bunch of random things happen, and then we're brought to the recent past, in which Hamilton is killed. Now we return to the detective investigating the case, who interrogates each suspect about his or her activities the night Hamilton was murdered. Of course, we see flashbacks of what they were each doing that night.

This back-and-forth pivot between past and present makes Scenes a very bumpy ride; the low budget, amateur actors, and frankly poor editing only further mystify the goings-on. I couldn't fathom why some of the characters were even considered suspects. Other critics at the screening also seemed befuddled. There are so many unnecessary events leading to the conclusion of the movie that we become wholly detached from the mystery. And once we learn the truth, it's hard to care; the dénouement entirely lacks punch.

Sub-par acting is expected from a low-budget movie, but Scenes could very likely have been a successful film had it employed a more experienced editor -- someone who could have arranged the events more cohesively and trimmed the excess fat. I'll repeat (in the least perverted way I can): Rubio directs some of the best, most genuine sex scenes I've ever seen in cinema. She at least has a gift for capturing the human spirit. Perhaps if she focuses on a genre more grounded in reality -- and hires a new editor -- she'll have a big hit.

Cast & Crew

Director : Julie Rubio

Producer : Julie Rubio, Rob Meadows, Jaclyn Chessen, Ramona Maramonte

Starring : Richard Crenna Jr, Kristin Minter, Jasper Watts

Comments

Six Sex Scenes and a Murder Rating

" Weak "

Rating: NR, 2008

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